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What are Blue Light Glasses?

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A young man wearing glasses with blue light protection on them to prevent eye strain from screens

Blue light glasses are growing in popularity in the screen-centric world. They help filter out blue light to reduce digital eye strain. Typing at your computer, reading a book on your e-reader, or playing games on your phone are routine parts of daily life. The light emitting from screens can feel harsh, and wearing blue light glasses can feel like an added protection against digital eye strain.

When you recognize signs of digital eye strain, visit Maple Ridge Eye Care for a comprehensive eye exam. Our optometry team will analyze your eye structures, assess your vision, and help you find relief from unpleasant symptoms. 

What Is Blue Light?

Light exists on a colour spectrum, and blue light has high energy, short wavelengths that are only marginally longer and less powerful than UV waves.

Research into the effects of blue light on the eyes is constantly evolving. While connections between blue light and digital eye strain have yet to be established, there is data to suggest that blue light may alter your internal clock.

Blue light may inhibit your body’s natural production of melatonin, the hormone that helps put you to sleep. Since the sun also emits blue light, your digital screens may signal your body to be alert. This isn’t a problem during the day, but your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle can be affected if you use your screens at night.

What Are Blue Light Glasses?

Blue light glasses aim to filter out blue light from reaching your eyes. It’s a lens coating that can be applied over your prescription lenses to help improve sleep and limit the symptoms of digital eye strain.

Digital eye strain isn’t caused by blue light, so blue light glasses can’t relieve common digital eye strain symptoms. While your devices’ screens may contribute to your digital eye strain, it’s likely not the screens causing it.

Digital Eye Strain Relief

Exposure to blue light from screens isn’t enough to damage your eyes or cause other eye conditions. Evidence indicates that there’s no meaningful link between retinal damage, age-related macular degeneration, and blue light exposure. However, screens can cause discomfort in your eyes. Digital eye strain is becoming increasingly common in as many as 50% of computer users.

As computer-focused work increases and leisure time is spent more on screens, digital eye strain is a concern for your overall eye health. Symptoms often accompanying digital eye strain can include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Headaches
  • Sore neck, back, and shoulders
  • Eye fatigue
  • Light sensitivity

But if blue light doesn’t cause digital eye strain, what does? Digital eye strain can be caused by a perfect storm of elements, including:

  • Screen glare
  • Bad posture
  • Poor lighting
  • Looking at screens from the wrong distance or angle
  • Uncorrected vision problems

When you experience digital eye strain, there are proven methods you can try to help ease the symptoms.

A pair of transparent blue glasses sitting on a blue backdrop

How to Protect Your Eyes from Digital Eye Strain

Artificial Tears

Did you know that typically, people blink about 15 times per minute? Yet, when working or interacting with digital screens, you only blink up to 7 times per minute. Insufficient blinking can cause eye fatigue and dry eye irritation of digital eye strain.

Artificial tears can help rehydrate the eyes when you’re not blinking enough. At your next visit to Maple Ridge Eye Care, talk to your optometrist about which eye drops are best for your eyes.

Adjust Your Ergonomics

Bad posture can contribute to headaches, muscle stiffness, or pain, and as relaxing as it may be to lounge on the couch and online shop, respond to emails, or watch TV, it can be hard on your body.

Your screen should always be at least an arm’s length away to reduce strain, and if you’re working in an office with few breaks, having an ergonomic setup with your chair, desk, and screen adequately positioned can help make long days less noticeable.

Adjust Brightness & Glare

Screens on newer devices can now auto-adjust your screen’s brightness, turn on ‘night shift’ with warmer lights, or trigger dark mode on your browser and apps as light conditions change throughout the day. Matte screen filters can help reduce glare on glass screens like your phone or tablet.

Adopt the 20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule is the golden rule for the digital age. Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to give your eyes a break during long computer work days or study sessions.

Find the Right Protection for Your Eyes in Maple Ridge

Choosing the right frames and lenses for your next pair of glasses can transform your style and vision. Whether you wear your glasses intermittently or constantly, we’ll help you find frames to fit your personality and craft premium single-focus lenses or progressive lenses available with lens coatings to suit your lifestyle.

Visit Maple Ridge Eye Care for a comprehensive eye exam and discuss your vision concerns with our dedicated team.

Written by Dr. M. Hurlbert

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